Image: Celebration of TBS's 31st anniversary, with Kim Eo-jun in the center. Credit: TBS Radio.
Seoul Metropolitan City Council 서울시의회 voted to cut off funding for TBS, all but shuttering the home station of prominent liberal radio pundit Kim Eo-jun 김어준. On November 15, the city council passed a bill ending the city’s funding for TBS on a party-line vote of 72 out of 112.
Every vote in favor came from council members belonging to the ruling People Power Party 국민의힘, which has long complained about Kim Eo-jun’s influence. (See previous coverage, “South Korea’s Most Important Pundit.”)
As TBS, whose primary function is to provide live traffic information, is prohibited from taking commercial advertisements, the bill all but ends the station’s existence. Seoul Mayor O Se-hun 오세훈 서울시장 applauded the bill, saying TBS should “reflect on whether it has been faithful to its status and role as a publicly owned broadcasting station.”